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- DescriptionWhat would happen if The Unthinkable blindsided you, requiring everything be put on hold to become a full time caregiver for a loved one? At the very least, it would reshape your life. Without a survival guide, it could even destroy it. Barb Owen delivers precisely that survival guide in NORMAL Doesn't Live Here Anymore: An Inspiring Story of Hope for Caregivers. She weaves a story, through the first two parts of the book, based on her life-changing experience as primary caregiver for her elderly parents. Following each chapter a bit of wisdom gained from Barb's experience is summarized as a Reflection. The third part of NORMAL Doesn't Live Here Anymore addresses the critical need for self-care for the new and seasoned caregiver alike. Specific suggestions abound for Me Time-how to find it-what to do with it-and how very important it is for sustaining oneself throughout the often arduous caregiving-marathon. This truly inspiring book is one part parable, one part autobiography and all survival guide, illuminating a path for the more than 65 million caregiving Americans. Everything hinges on your ability to care for both yourself and your loved one, says Owen. This maxim is of great consequence-heed it, and you will endure. Dismiss it, and you will have trouble surviving. Take care of yourself, your loved one and keep the faith, because you're t alone. ----- EXCERPT FROM: NORMAL Doesn't Live Here Anymore - Chapter 21; The morning after I brought my 90-year-old Dad home from the hospital, Mom called me to say that he was t feeling at all well. My nagging intuition insisted that I visit Dad and spend some private time with him. Finding Dad awake and resting in his bed, I struggled to find my voice. Sitting beside him, I asked, How are you feeling this morning? Oh, I'm so-so, he sighed, as a tear rolled from his eye on to the pillow that cradled his head. Really tired of all of this and worried about your mother. She's having a hard time with everything. We stayed there in silence-just being together for a few moments. Holding his hand, the heavy words finally left my mouth. You kw, Dad, you can trust me to be sure that Mom is okay. I will take care of her, matter what. He responded quietly, I kw. Studying and caressing my dad's hand, I knew there was one more important conversation that the voice in my heart insisted upon. Dad, I kw that this is getting to be really tough for you. If staying here becomes too hard, it's okay to let go... During the following few weeks I watched my 89 year old Mom experience a renewed sense of purpose and increased strength as she doted on my dad and met his needs, as best she could. Some days were better than others. Most nights were difficult when Dad's heart pain was significantly worse and his level of anxiety escalated. Often my mom would pass the hours by reading to Dad. Although her eyesight was clouding, she still managed to read the newspaper, column by column, or inspirational short stories she found in the stack of magazines beside their bed. Amazingly, dawn nearly always brought ease and comfort for them both. And so the nights and days continued... ----- REFLECTION; Difficult subjects sometimes need to be discussed. You might be asked by others to deliver bad news-news of someone's death, a life-altering diagsis, or even the necessity for a change in residence. Each conversation carries the potential for unleashed emotions. My advice? No matter how difficult or emotional, don't leave words left unsaid. People, if capable of understanding, deserve information. Often, they are much stronger than we realize. Words are powerful. They carry courage, condemnation, reassurance or permission. Choose them wisely as your words may be the ones that bring freedom from pain or suffering. It's tough, but I kw you can do it and if you listen to that voice inside, you will kw exactly the right time and the right words. Be Strong!
- Author BiographyWithout realizing it, Barb Owen found herself one day with a new, life-changing, responsibility, being a caregiver. Life was flowing along for her as a wife, mother, daughter, grandmother and artist. Barb began pursuing artistic avenues at a young age when she began teaching music at the age of 16. Her love of the arts included everything from music to working with paper, fiber, fabric and metal which ignited her lifelong passion of inspiring others to trust their creative spirits. Barb didn't have any idea that life could change in the heartbeat with a collision between her life and that of the caregiver. As a wife of more than 35 years, she was enjoying life with her husband, alone, for the very first time. Nothing in Barb's life was more important to her than being a wife, mother and grandmother. Nurturing and encouraging came first. But just as her life was settling into a nice rhythm, balanced between husband, adult children and artistic ventures, the role of caregiver interrupted, stalling everything. Her parents were in crisis. Her siblings were absent. And, everyone looked to her to take the helm. Rarely does anyone plan or aspire to be a family caregiver. You might know in the back of your mind that caregiving is a possibility someday, but you stow it away in the maybe-but-I-sure-hope-not file. Such was the case for Barb. Living in the same town with her parents, she couldn't ignore their obvious aging and decline. Responsibility and learning about eldercare fell entirely into Barb's lap. Through her journals and sketchbooks, Barb chronicled her caregiving experience that later provided the raw material for NORMAL Doesn't Live Here Anymore: An Inspiring Story of Hope for Caregivers. Each chapter, reflection, and suggestion for self-care grew out of a deeply personal journey. Barb's greatest desire is that her words and images might give the reader-the caregiver-the one thing they need most during their own caregiving journey-HOPE. Today, Barb encourages caregivers through her website http: //www.HopeForCaregivers.com and is once again enjoying her life with creative abandon.
- Author(s)Barb Owen
- Date of Publication09/01/2011
- FormatPaperback / softback
- SubjectFamily & Health: General
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight585 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine23 mm
- Illustrator(s)Barb Owen
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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